First Kindle Scout winners announced

First Kindle Scout winners announced

I’ve written previously about Kindle Scout, Amazon’s crowd sourced publishing platform.

Well, it isn’t exactly that: readers to nominate books to be published (after reading free excerpts), but Amazon doesn’t have to just publish the ones with the most votes. The e-tailer has the final word.

Still, I have to say that for myself, I didn’t get much into it. I looked at it a bit, but I have so much to read that reading just part of a book didn’t see like a good use of my time…especially if I might never get to read the rest of it.

I think this is a very good opportunity for authors, though. The terms seem quite good, and you do end up with an advance and you are traditionally published.

For Amazon, it’s yet another way to become more independent of traditional structures. Amazon does do successful traditional publishing (hampered by some retailers’ decision not to carry Amazon-published p-books ((paperbooks))), but this increases it.

If you nominated a book, and it got picked, you’ll get it for free.

I see I didn’t end up having nominated anything, so I don’t get a free one out of this. That’s okay, I didn’t really play the game, so I don’t really deserve a trophy. 😉

The first ten winners are listed here:

None of them are available, even for pre-order, yet, but it shouldn’t take too long. The books had to be completed before they could be submitted.

Here’s a list:

Congratulations to the winners!

Now, how do these selections match the idealized concept of whta you might want this program to be?

At this point, I’d say pretty well. 😉

Looking at their Amazon Author Central pages (and they all have them), they are all people who have published something before, but there were none I would consider to be frontlist. At least one had been published by Bantam (a division of Penguin Random House, which I think is a good thing. I’d like this program to work both for people who have only been indies (independently publishing their own works) and those who have been traditionally published, but may feel…underserved by that structure.

A couple of them excitedly commented on their selection on their pages.

I would say there are two things which time will tell.

First, how good are the books and how well do they do. For the program to succeed, the books also have to succeed. They aren’t even published yet (they are in the works), but it will be interesting to see where they rank. As too many movie studios know, social media interest is not always a predictor of box office success, and it’s possible the same is true here…that the people who participate in Kindle Scout may not be the same people who buy books at such a rate as to make them bestsellers.

However, I’m also guessing they’ll be in Kindle Unlimited (you can read books by some of the authors in this group now through KU). That could up the attractiveness of KU, but I’m not sure how it affects sales status (I don’t know how borrows are calculated in terms of sales).

The other thing is how the authors feel about the program. That will impact the involvement of other authors in it. I’m hoping we eventually see brand names authors involved, but that’s not likely unless the authors currently involved feel they are well treated.

We’ll get some sense of that in the first year or so, but it might take three or more before we get a good assessment.

Still, it’s exciting to me to see Amazon trying this and engaging customers and authors in this way.

What do you think? Did you participate in Kindle Scout? Did any of your nominees get picked? What do you think of the selections? If you are an author who submitted to Kindle Scout, what was your experience like (whether or not you were selected)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


15 Responses to “First Kindle Scout winners announced”

  1. Zebras Says:


    I found Scout to be a little more work than fun, so after nominating 2 books, I didn’t go back to it. Neither one got picked, but you get a nice form letter from the author thanking you.

    Would have loved it if we were able to be more involved, sort of as “crowd” editors to be able to dig into the whole book and help it evolve. However, you know what they say about cars designed by a committee, it might apply to books! I recently edited a friends’ book, and while I’m sure the quality of my editing was nothing like a pro’s, I really enjoyed the process. Thanked him for getting a taste of my dream job!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      I’ve enjoyed editing, too! It is fun, although there’s a bit of a balance to maintain…you aren’t writing it, you are getting them to write it better. As a trainer, though, that’s right up my alley.

  2. Man in the Middle Says:

    I liked that I could focus on only the categories of books that interest me, and how easy it is to get first a tiny taste and then a fuller flavor of any proposed book whose concept interests me.

    The largest problem for me is that the books I liked best did not win, so may never be completed for me to finish reading.

    There’s also a bit of a piling on effect possible, as the site tells us which books are currently “hot” and how long until their time for consideration is up. That suggests an easy way to game the system: only nominate books that are already listed as hot and almost at the end of their evaluation time. One of my nominations did win publication, and I sadly must admit I added it to my list of nominations more because I still had a spot open and sort of liked the preview than because I liked it better than some others whose time had already run out without them winning.

    Ideally, Scout should want us voting only for the 3 books we’d most like to read, not the 3 we think we’d be most likely to win for free because other people before us liked them.

    At this point, I’ve now previewed all the books of any interest, so likely won’t be back for a couple of weeks. And perhaps not then if only books I don’t like much continue to be the winners.

    One other suggestion for improvement would be for the authors of the non-winning books who choose to proceed and self-publish to be able to notify their nominators when the finished book is available. I’d hate to miss reading the rest of a couple of the ones I nominated.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Man!

      I think you have a very good perspective on this…I like your suggestions. 🙂

  3. Karen Says:

    Hi Bufo, I subscribe to your blog thru Amazon but haven’t received an update since 12/1. Has anyone else reported a similar issue?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karen!

      One other person has, about half an hour before you. 🙂 I double-checked on our Kindle Paperwhite 2, and it’s stuck where you are with December 1st being the most recent post.

      I’ve asked Amazon about it…thanks for letting me know!

  4. Josh Says:

    Hey, Joshua Wright here, just a note to let you know the author page you have for me is incorrect (it’s confusing, because the other Joshua Wright is also in technology). Here’s my author page:

    Great writeup on Scout. As an author, I’m excited–it’s an interesting mix of models to create an entirely new/different opportunity for authors (and readers, for that matter). Should be fun to see what happens!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Josh!

      Sorry about that! I appreciate you checking in to clear that up! I’ll fix it in the post.

      Would have been nice if Amazon had linked directly to the Amazon Author Central pages, or had the books up for pre-order at the time of the announcement. 🙂

      Feel free to keep us informed! I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

  5. The Behrg Says:

    This is great to hear reader’s perspectives of the Kindle Scout program! I agree that for books that weren’t chosen (which I’ve nominated a few) there should be a way to notify those readers when / if the book is released independently or through another publisher. I’m sure there will be a lot of fine-tuning in the months (and years) ahead.

    I’m excited to have been chosen with my debut novel, Housebroken, and it’s been a great experience so far. If anyone has questions about the program or is considering submitting a novel themselves, I’m more than willing to share what little I know! 🙂

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, The Behrg!

      I appreciate you dropping by to communicate with my readers…and congratulations on having your novel selected!

      I’ll check back in on the Kindle First books later. If you are interested in doing an e-mail interview on your experience with the program, let me know.

      • The Behrg Says:

        I’d love to an email interview – I know there are a lot of questions about the program. You can contact me through my blog:


      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, The Behrg!

        Sounds good! I’ll put something together…might be a few days.

  6. thelovelymessy Says:

    My novel, Flicker, is up on Scout right now and so far I have enjoyed the process. This would be my debut novel, and if it isn’t picked up by Scout I will self-publish this winter. It’s been a lot of fun to engage with friends and family about my novel during my campaign, but feel it would be overkill to submit another if this doesn’t turn out in my favor. Continually asking for nominations could grow tedious. 😁Great article!

  7. An ILMK interview with The Behrg, author of the Kindle Scout winner Housebroken | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] I recently wrote about the first books being selected in Amazon’s Kindle Scout program, I was pleased when one […]

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